Fighting through adversity
A first-year coach with an impressive résumé, Jackson Hein is guiding the Tigers wrestling team through a tough season
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield wrestling team has hit a crossroads.
The Tigers came into the 2014-15 season with high hopes, bringing back an experienced squad.
A win over Wausau West in its Wisconsin Valley Conference opener and a pair of second-place finishes at tournaments in Campbellsport and Richland Center had Marshfield believing it was destined for a memorable season.
Since then, however, injuries have set in, leaving the Tigers with a depleted lineup and a number of young wrestlers forced into the fray.
First-year coach Jackson Hein continues to stay positive through tumultuous times for his team.
“Every day, it doesn’t matter how bad a practice was. There’s always something positive to take from it,” Hein said. “We’re a young team. Every match we learn from it. They just have to keep a positive attitude. It’s a tough sport. The biggest thing is they learn from their mistakes and keep improving every single day.”
Hein takes over the Tigers’ program just one year removed from wrestling at the University of Wisconsin. A 2009 WIAA Division 1 state champion at 189 pounds at Wausau West, Hein had a 43-34 record over his final three years with the Badgers and twice qualified for the NCAA Championships.
With four starters out due to injury and three weeks until the postseason begins, Hein wants to see the Tigers find a way to fight through the adversity.
“It comes back to we need to step up as a team,” Hein said. “Just because one guy goes out there at a time, they are still representing everybody. They’re not just representing themselves. We’re starting to get that. We’re starting to learn that.”
The Tigers will get the opportunity to wrestle in their home gym for the first two postseason tournaments. The Wisconsin Valley Conference Tournament is Feb. 7, and the WIAA Division 1 regional is Feb. 14, both at The Boson Company Fieldhouse at Marshfield High School.
Hein said he is pleased with his first year teaching (physical education) and coaching at Marshfield.
“I have tremendous support all the way around,” Hein said. “This is a great place to be. The community involvement, people care about athletics and academics. The biggest thing about us is we’re a family. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the basketball team or the wrestling team. We’re a family. We care about each other. If we stay dedicated all the way through, we can do great things. Some things just take a little time.”
Remaining Marshfield wrestling schedule
- Jan. 17 at Freedom Invitational
- Jan. 22 home vs. D.C. Everest
- Jan. 29 at Wausau East
- Feb. 7 Wisconsin Valley Conference Meet at Marshfield
- Feb. 14 WIAA Division 1 regional at Marshfield
- Feb. 21 WIAA Division 1 sectional at Eau Claire North
- Feb. 26-28 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament at Madison